Warren’s ignorance: Worse than we think

A knowledgeable reader who asks to remain anonymous writes to comment on John’s post condemning the ignorance of Elizabeth Warren. I’m not sure ignorance is the right word, but our reader follows up on John’s point:

Her ignorance is even worse than you think. In the first place nationalization of health insurance affects more than just those purchasing individual or employer-sponsored insurance. Most Medicaid beneficiaries have private sector insurance that they select through state Medicaid programs. UCare is an example in Minnesota.

Also, a growing proportion Medicare beneficiaries opt out of regular Medicare in favor of Medicare Advantage. At present, 35 percent of eligible seniors elect private insurance over regular Medicare. UnitedHealth is a leading provider of Medicare Advantage.

Moreover, the regular Medicare program is predominantly administered by the private sector. A health care claim processed for a traditional Medicare beneficiary, or a customer service call handled, will almost invariably be through contracts with private sector companies. The contractors are often Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans.

So in addition to the effects on private insurance companies serving people under 65 that you think of, the private sector also provides actual coverage or administrative services to a high percent of everyone else. (Btw, I would not like to have to explain to seniors why they will lose the Medicare Advantage plan that they have chosen.) And processing claims and handling calls is a requirement that must be met, and people must be employed, even under Medicare for All.

Senator Warren observes that many of those two million people do not work for insurance companies but in hospitals and doctors’ offices. It would be difficult to see how they transition to life insurance.